“We are absolutely ready for this deployment,” said 1st Sgt. Abdul-Malik Mustafa, the senior noncommissioned officer who deployed with the 16th Quartermaster Company Feb. 8 from the Post Field House.

Many of these field service Soldiers, assigned to the 530th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 49th QM Group, have already seen at least one deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Compounded with daily training, Mustafa expressed confidence in his Soldiers.

“We have a lot of experience to draw from during this deployment,” said Mustafa. “I would say that for about 45-percent of the Soldiers, this is their second deployment, and maybe 10-percent more will be deploying a third time.”

During the departure ceremony for the deploying Soldiers, Col. James Meyer, 49th QM Group commander noted that these ceremonies have become a familiar routine for the seasoned Quartermaster Soldiers.

“You guys are following a great tradition,” said Meyer. “In the last two rotations, the 16th performed outstanding, and we know deep in our hearts that you guys are going to do the same thing – that you are going to do yourselves proud, and you’re going to do us proud, and you’re going to do your country proud.”

Meyer called on Capt. Juan Vega, the senior deploying officer, to receive the commander’s coin – a Quartermaster tradition where the officer returns the coin to the group commander upon redeployment to signify the completion of their mission and Soldier accountability.

Lt. Col. Robert Horneck, 530th CSSB commander, assured the family members that their Soldiers are prepared, and the mission is crucial to the Army’s overall success.

“Their mission is what keeps Soldiers on the ground going day-to-day,” said Horneck. “Sometimes it doesn’t seem like a glorious mission, but it is an important mission for the Army team. I’d like to emphasize that this group of Soldiers is joining 270 more of your warrior team that is already deployed to Iraq, serving their nation honorably and proudly and doing what America has called them to do.”